Aquarium susbtrate

martin

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martin handford
After looking at the photos of peoples newt aquariums, i noticed that a few of you are using sand as a substrate.
Could you tell me what kind of sand you use and
do you have any problems with it?

Thanks
 
E

elisabeth

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I use silica sand, and I believe that's what everyone else uses. I like the fact that the poop stays at the surface and makes it easy to clean. However, it can clog your filter, but it isn't that bad.
I suddenly have a high amonia level, however, and I think it might be due to the sand. I'm not sure though, but I never had a problem with amonia before, and I can't think of what else could be causing it.
 
J

jesper

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I use sand as substrate, it is called Roda sand - after the place where it originated. It is just your average beach sand. Oh and Elisabeth using sand(as replacement for gravel) means smoother surface which in turns means less bacteria can adhere to it.
 
A

aaron

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Sand also means that there is less room for water to flow between the particles, and overtime, you may have some problems with in-organic bacteria, especially if you don't do regular water changes and stir up the sand.

~Aaron
 
J

jesper

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Hi Aaron!

I just can't help arguing with a guy wearing a Pooh-costume...

Yes I would say a too deep layer of substrate can produce problems with some anaerobic(In-organic bacteria?) bacteria producing hydrogensulfide(H2S). It is toxic and smells bad.

However! If the sand bad is deep but not too deep you can get an anaerobic environment perfect for denitrification bacteria which produces N2 and removes nitrates.
 

morg

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I believe that if you add Malaysian trumpet snails to the tank, they will burrow into the sand through the day, coming out at night to feed.
This should help keep sand substrate aerated.
 
A

aaron

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Jesper, I hope you don't think I'm attacking you-I just always find something to argue with you about.
Yes, the denitrification bacteria will remove nitrates, but you need to be very careful not to stir it up, as it can kill off the entire tank.

Morg, you are correct about the snails. I have tons of them throughout my tanks. I also sometimes keep kuhli loaches, which will also burrow and stir up the gravel.

~Aaron
 
Y

yago

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Just one point. Thin sand may cause severe internal injures to newts if ingested while eating. Therefore, I would recommend gravel for aquarium substrate.
Best wishes
Yago
 
J

jesper

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Hi!
Sand causing internal injury? Doesnt sound logical to me, it should just pass right out or?
However, gravel coarse enough to cause intestinal blockage if ingested might be a problem.
Yo Aaron, the denitrification bacteria arent dangerous, you are probably thinking of anaerobic bacteria which produce H2S. The denitrification bacteria live in anaerobic environments but arent anaerobic since they use oxygen by extracting it from nitrate. The denitrification process only takes place in anaerobic environments to produce oxygen. Denitrification bacteria living in aerobic environments doesnt need to denitrify, thus they arent called denitrification bacteria when living in such environments.

Cheers Jesper
 
Y

yago

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Well, I am talking from my own experience and some other colleagues have reported also the same kind of problems. It is not frequent, you may keep newts in such substrate for years without problems but it is a real risk, since tiny gravel or sand surfaces can be quite sharp and produce throat injures or internal injures. Sand can be normally expulsed without injures but still exist the risk. The same thing happens with life food such as some cricket species that can injure the throat of the caudate with their sharp back spine. Some enthusiast cut those spines in order to prevent risks. On the other hand gravel, as you said, can cause intestinal blockage though the peril of injection is much lower, no bad experiences till now.
I just wanted to share some unlucky experiences hoping it doesn’t happen again to anyone.
Best wishes
 
J

jesper

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I see I wasnt aware of this, you mean ordinary "beach sand" right?
Also this about crickets isnt true for the ordinary black cricket(dont know much about cricket species) or?

Thanks for sharing!
 
E

elisabeth

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Well, my newts have no reason to ingest sand. I serve them their food in a bowl, and all the food stays in there. That way, there's no accidental eating of sand. They don't try to eat it at any other time, so there will be no problem for me. I don't know about anyone else of course.
 

mike

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I have heard that the ovipositor on a large black cricket can cause internal injuries when eaten by an amphibian.
For safety's sake I always cut them off.
 
Y

yago

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For big caudates such as salamandra, ambystomas, t.verrucosus and such it is recommended to cut the egg laying tube at the end of adults crickets, known as size 4 in the pet trade live food. The hardness and the aggressiveness in crickets vary on species, though almost all size 4 crickets can potentially injure a caudate throat. It is not common a throat injury though when it happen and you lose a nice specimen you get really pissed of.
 
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kaysie

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Aaron, out of curiosity, how does that work out with the kuhli loaches in the newt tank? i'm afraid the newts would mistake them for food.
 
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